Stargate SG-1 Watchguide: Season 2
Season 2 is still a little rough but a definite step up from Season 1. Feel free to use this list as a starting point, but most of these episodes are worth watching at least once.
Season 2 Highlights
If you’re looking to be entertained, this is the best of season 2:
- S02E02 – “In the Line of Duty” – I’m a sucker for the Tok’ra, so this is always on my show-to-friends list. Unlike most of my highlights, it didn’t make the viewer’s choice marathons.
- S02E04 – “The Gamekeeper” – Unlike most of my highlights, this is not a fun or funny episode. It doesn’t get built on with later episodes… much… But it is an interesting watch. It makes you think.
- S02E11 and E12 – “The Tok’ra” – See above; I’m a sucker for the Tok’ra.
- S02E16 – “The Fifth Race” – Very quotable. Always on the fan-favorite marathons.
- S02E18 – “Holiday” – Because body swapping is always fun.
- S02E19 – “One False Step” – This is largely a slow episode with questionable acting, but it has interesting moral discussions.
- S02E21 – “1969” – Again, very quotable, always on the fan-favorite marathons. In all of Stargate, this is a must-see episode.
Season 2 Plot Episodes (with spoilers)
Season 2 has a lot of plot threads it picks up from Season 1 or passes on to later seasons. In fact, I think only two episodes actually stand alone. Here’s the concise-ish guide:
- S02E02 – “In the Line of Duty” – Introduction of the Tok’ra and origin of a tiny subgenre of fanfiction known as “Jolinar lives fics.” (I have only one, and it’s terrible and unfinished.)
- S02E03 – “Prisoners” – This is actually a good watch the first time, as I recall. It introduces a recurring character named Linnea.
- S02E04 – “The Gamekeeper” – This doesn’t come back until way late in the series, Season 8’s “Avatar.” And it’s just a spinoff of the technology. You don’t have to see “The Gamekeeper” first.
- S02E05 – “Need” – This establishes why it could be a bad idea for the SGC to steal a bank of sarcophagi to heal and resurrect any wounded team members. This rationale influences many later episodes.
- S02E06 – “Thor’s Chariot” – More Asgard!
- S02E08 – “Message in a Bottle” – More Rebel Jaffa!
- S02E09 – “Secrets” – This picks up the thread of Daniel’s missing wife, but it also provides some plot between “In the Line of Duty” and “The Tok’ra.”
- S02E10 – “Bane” – I know these bugs come back somewhere, but I think it’s in Stargate Atlantis. Much squick.
- S02E11/E12 – “The Tok’ra” – Much plot. Such controversial potential allies.
- S02E13 – “Spirits” – Technically, the sets up for the next episode, but the next episode stands alone just fine.
- S02E14 – “Touchstone” – This starts a long-running, Earth-based counterpoint to SG-1’s morality.
- S02E15 – “A Matter of Time” – They did it! They wrote time dilation into a black hole episode! Yay! Slow. And not even as technically accurate as Interstellar, but who’s counting? Anyway, this turns out to be the basis for some really fun (also technically inaccurate) tactics later on.
- S02E16 – “The Fifth Race” – More Asgard! More “meaning of life stuff.” But mostly wonderful hijinks.
- S02E17 – “Serpent’s Song” – More Apophis!
- S02E18 – “Holiday” – Hard-won anti-Goa’uld tech is, of course, plot-relevant many, many times.
- S02E20 – “Show and Tell” – This episode introduces aliens and tech that come into play a few times later on. But not enough for me to remember the name of said aliens.
- S02E21 – “1969” – The in-universe science (wormhole/solar flare interactions = time travel) in this episode is relevant to later episodes.
- S02E22/S03E01 – “Out of Mind”/”Into the Fire” – This is a fun watch the first time, especially without spoilers.
For anyone interested in non-concise versions, Gateworld.net has the best index of all Stargate information, including exactly which episodes relate to each other, how, and an extensive encyclopedia of all terms, technologies, alien races, etc. It makes Stargate fanfiction easy to get consistent with the show.